Above average thriller

by Martin Hafer

This is a sexy story with adultery, quite a bit of skin and murder, starring Nick Jonas, of the squeaky-clean Disney-fied Jonas Brothers! Talk about a major about-face with his career! Only a few years ago, he and his brothers were singing to sold-out stadiums of pre-teen and teen girls. Now Nick is playing in a hard-edged rated R film. My how times have changed. Careful What You Wish For isn’t at all bad but the film isn’t without its problems. The biggest one was casting. No, Jonas was actually pretty good. While he’s in his early 20s, he looks younger, so playing a character who is supposed to be 16-17 years-old worked out fine. The problem instead was his co-star, Isabel Lucas. While her acting was quite good, the role should have been played by someone who seemed much older–perhaps a cougar in her 30s. However, Lucas looks to be about Jonas’ age and this makes the story a bit more difficult to believe.

Careful What You Wish For
Directed by
Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Isabel Lucas, Dermot Mulroney, Nick Jonas
Release Date
Martin’s Grade: B-

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It all begins at a lake in North Carolina. The Martin’s are a nice and seemingly normal family and their son, Doug (Jonas) is anticipating going off to an excellent college soon. Meantime, it’s summer and he and his super-annoying friend are mostly concerned with scoring with the local girls. Doug, however, is in for a huge surprise. His new rich neighbor has a very young and very desirable wife, Lena (Lucas). Why she would soon seduced Doug is a puzzler–and Doug is just young and stupid enough not to ask this obvious question. Soon, he and Lena are having an affair. Not too long after this he’s pulled into a conspiracy…one that might just get them sent to prison! What is the conspiracy? Well, think The Postman Always Rings Twice and you’ll have some idea of what’s next. Fortunately, the film does have a few nice twists and turns, though none of it seemed all that surprising to me, as a gorgeous and rich woman like this must surely have a hidden agenda…and my guess is that this is going to run through your mind as well. Despite the plot being occasionally predictable, and the ending a bit too neat and tidy, the acting and direction are very good and the film held my interest throughout.

So is it worth seeing? Yes, though it isn’t a film I’d rush to see. This Jonas brother’s future looks pretty good after seeing Careful What You Wish For. Is he handsome leading man material? Perhaps, perhaps not…but he can act and was able to more than hold his own in the lead. His biggest problem for the future is his strength in this particular film–he just looks very, very young, and I had some trouble seeing him in more adult roles. Time will tell.